Circulation has tripled over the last decade.

Fruit and vegetable vendors, Pike Place Market, Seattle, WashingtonThis anonymous interview is with a public librarian who has been a hiring manager and a member of a hiring or search committee. This person hires the following types of LIS professionals:

Adult, teen and children’s librarians as well as IT managers, technology, etc.

This librarian works at a library with 10-50 staff members in a suburban area in the Southern US.

Approximately how many people applied for the last librarian (or other professional level) job at your workplace?

√ 25 or fewer

Approximately what percentage of those would you say were hirable?

√ 25% or less

And how would you define “hirable”?

Having *some* experience in the field!

How are applications evaluated, and by whom?

Applications are evaluated by at minimum two department heads and the Director.

What is the most common reason for disqualifying an applicant without an interview?

No previous work experience.

Do you (or does your library) give candidates feedback about applications or interview performance?

√ No

What is the most important thing for a job hunter to do in order to improve his/her/their hirability?

Gain some experience! We have many applicants for positions who have an advanced degree, but absolutely no work experience in a library. That can lead to disaster, especially when applicants are seeking positions that require at least 1-2 years of work experience in a busy public library.

I want to hire someone who is


How many staff members are at your library/organization?

√ 10-50

How many permanent, full time librarian (or other professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 1

How many permanent, full time para-professional (or other non-professional level) jobs has your workplace posted in the last year?

√ 3-4

Can you tell us how the number of permanent, full-time librarian positions at your workplace has changed over the past decade?

√ There are more positions

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with part-time or hourly workers over the past decade?

√ No

Have any full-time librarian positions been replaced with para-professional workers over the past decade?

√ No

Does your workplace require experience for entry-level professional positions? If so, is it an official requirement or just what happens in practice?

No experience for an entry level position, but most candidates who apply already have experience.

Is librarianship a dying profession?

√ No

Why or why not?

Our business is booming and staff is growing. Circulation has tripled over the last decade. Foot traffic is up, programming is active and well attended. We are busy!

Do you hire librarians?  Take this survey: or take other Hiring Librarians surveys.

For some context, look at the most recent summary of responses.

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Filed under 10-50 staff members, Public, Southern US, State of the Job Market 2015, Suburban area

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